Chromebooks are far and away some of the best machines for getting quick tasks done when you’re on the go, but one thing that the platform has really lacked over the years is dedicated cellular support. Now, a new code-review has revealed that Google is actively trying to change that with eSIM.
If you’re unfamiliar, eSIM is a digital replacement to the SIM cards we’ve all used over the years. Instead of identifying a device based on a removable SIM card, networks register your device based on this permanent eSIM which is built directly into the hardware.
As spotted by XDA-Developers, it looks like Google is actively working on bringing support for this technology to Chrome OS. A project dubbed “Hermes” lays out clearly that Google is adding this functionality to Chrome OS with “seamless integration” specifically with the company’s own Project Fi network.
Hermes is the codename for the project of implementing eSIM support for Chrome OS. Hermes will be responsible for delivering messages between devices with eSIM chips and carrier servers through profile downloads as well as service discovery for new carriers.
Project Fi is no stranger to eSIM technology, as Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were among the first smartphones to adopt eSIM when they debuted last year.
Notably, Chrome OS as a platform has seen cellular options available before, such as the Chromebook Pixel and some machines from HP. The functionality was far from widespread, though.
Currently, there’s no specific information available regarding what hardware would support this, but this is all in early days, so we probably shouldn’t expect any hardware with eSIM support in the next few months. Google does mention, though, that this functionality would have an “easily portable API” that OEMs could use to implement this on different hardware.
With new Windows laptops powered by Snapdragon and flaunting better cellular connectivity, it was really only a matter of time before Google stepped in to do the same on Chrome OS. Having dedicated LTE on a device surely isn’t something everyone will use, but with Project Fi service and the easy setup that comes with eSIM, this is an option many will no doubt enjoy. Plus, I’d just about bet money we’ll see this arrive in a future iteration of the Pixelbook.
Would you use a Chromebook with eSIM on Project Fi? Drop a comment below and let us know!
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